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CDC Excipient Summary (PDF)

What Do We Know About Vaccines and Alpha-gal?

Whether you are all for the CDC recommended vaccines or not, their mere ingredient list is potentially a concern, for some of those diagnosed with Alpha-gal (Allergy) Syndrome).
Will the Lyme vaccinations mentioned in the news lately be mammal free? Most likely the answer is no, not yet.

Cosby Stone, MD, a fellow in the ASAP clinic, said recent patients have led researchers to take a deeper look into alpha-gal as not only as a food allergy, but a medication allergy.

In preparation for a presentation to the Tick-borne Disease Working Group, I personally researched this list from the CDC titled “Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary Excipients Included in U.S. Vaccines, by Vaccine.” After finding many of the vaccines contained one form or another of mammal derived ingredients, we raised this as a concern to the “Working Group” on February 12, 2018.

A few, not all, ingredients that were found to be mammal derived and included in the CDC document linked document above were;

  • Bovine
  • Pig
  • Canine
  • Calf
  • Mouse brains
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • African Green Monkey
  • Guinea Pig cell cultures
  • Lactose
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Sugar(s)
  • Glycerin
  • Hydrolyzed porcine gelatin
  • Casamino acidMueller’s growth medium, without beef heart.” The subset of ingredients used to make “Mueller’s growth medium, contains an ingredient called “casamino acid medium.” This is made with many ingredients including “caesin” which is mammal derived.
  • Medium 199 – (may contain mammal – sub-ingredient: “Minimum Essential Medium” made using a number of ingredients, including “fetal bovine serum.”

To date, clear labeling is not a requirement of the FDA. Often manufacturers have no method of accurately determining whether or not an ingredient sourced from mammalian products.

Arkansas Representatives Julie Mayberry and Dwight Tosh submitted a citizen petition to request the U.S. Food and Drug Administration support Congressional action requiring the labeling of all products intended for human ingestion or injection if they contain mammal meat or mammalian meat products.

On May 16th, I formally requested that a recommendation be made to exclude all mammal derived ingredients from current and newly developed tick-borne medications including vaccinations. (Especially since co-infections are so common in endemic areas.) Transcripts will be coming soon. Please visit the Working Group website for updates.

Regarding, OTC, Rx &/or vaccines, please take comfort that I respectfully requested that the Tick-borne Disease Working Group include a recommendation to Congress that the ABSENCE of mammalian derived ingredients be considered in the existing and new development of tick-borne specific medications. It would be smart to plan ahead.

Understand, it’s a very slow process but hopefully will be worth the wait. The were exceptionally mindful of phrasing which was in our favor as they were writing recommendations and notes supporting them. The Working Group will not meet with Congress to report their findings until December 2018.

Please be aware…

While some individuals are exceptionally sensitive to the smallest amounts of mammal derived ingredients, others are not. All medical decisions should be thoughtfully discussed with your physician(s).

Currently, there is not enough scientific evidence to definitively say how much trace Alpha-gal is or is not problematic. However, we do know, after hearing from hundreds diagnosed with Alpha-gal, it is their reality and wanted to arm you with the awareness of these challenges faced by those diagnosed.

We hope that in the near future, we will have enough science to better understand all areas of Alpha-gal and other Tick-borne Conditions.

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Beth Carrison has 30+ years of experience in business development and healthcare patient advocacy. Since 1996, she has managed over 30 different food allergies within her family unit; in addtion, two family members were diagnosed multiple times with Lyme Disease. Being diagnosed herself with two tick-borne conditions – Lyme Disease and Alpha-gal Syndrome (also known as the “Red Meat Allergy” or “Mammalian Meat Allergy”) unfortunately gave Ms. Carrison a firsthand perspective on both tick-borne conditions and anaphylaxis. Since her diagnosis, she has passionately given her time to others in the Alpha-gal community thorough individual connections and numerous speaking engagements across the country.

In 2018, Ms. Carrison co-founded Tick-Borne Conditions United (TBC United), with Dr. Jennifer Platt. In 2019 Ms. Carrison was appointed as a patient advocate to the federal 2020 Alpha-gal Syndrome Subcommittee, which serves the federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (TBDWG) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Ms. Carrison encourages everyone to join at least one community organization and volunteer their time and talents whenever possible.

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